Aston Business School has the global reputation, especially in marketing. The well structured courses gave me an in-depth understanding of marketing management from both academic and practical perspectives. The lectures were delivered by the most experienced professors with an international background.
Home country: China
By mixing academic and practical perspectives, the MSc in Marketing Management gave Jim Yang a great platform to enter international business. After completing his course, he was recruited by supermarket giant Tesco for a special graduate programme to help its business in Jim’s home country of China.
Aston was invaluable in preparing Jim for the world of work, by equipping him with marketing knowledge and data analysis skills. For example, he now has to select the right products for customers by analysing market data and reviewing previous sales performance, before sourcing the best products from around the world at the right price.
Aston also offered Jim a truly international learning environment. He worked with a syndicate group, made up of members from Europe, Africa and Asia, to complete practical projects, case studies and present the final report to the professor in the tutorial class. He said: “During one year's study, I not only learnt professional knowledge in marketing but also improved my influencing skills, team working and leadership.”
Jim, who likes travelling, Tai Chi boxing and music, loved living in Birmingham. “It is a very exciting city, combining fashion with tradition perfectly. You can easily shop for everything you need and can get from the campus to the city centre with a 15 minute walk,” he said. “You have lots of options on a Saturday afternoon, like walking to the canal side to enjoy the lovely sunshine, visiting the Birmingham Museum, listening to concerts, nice dinners in China Town and having fun in the pubs on Broad Street.
“I still miss my wonderful life at Aston. Although I now act as a buyer, my studies at Aston still benefit my career a lot, especially when I design the promotion plan and build the product range. The communication skills I got from the syndicate group also helped me to develop good relationships with suppliers and always go for win-win negotiations.”
The topic of Jim’s dissertation was ‘The role of the strategist in managing retail innovation in the city of Birmingham’. This saw him interview the Director of Planning Strategy, Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council on the subject of retail strategy. He added: “My dissertation supervisor always encouraged me and spent lots of quality time with me to give the right recommendations.”
Aston offers international study opportunities through partnerships with other business schools and Jim took full advantage. He enjoyed a short-term exchange to RSM Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, which he described as a “fantastic” way to gain a new perspective on marketing.
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